Going Home

October 13th, 2011

iStock_000009028466XSmallHome is where the heart is.  But, for my daughters, their hearts aren’t just under my roof. As internationally adopted children, I know a part of them still resides in their birth countries.  As they grow up as red, white, and blue Americans, Elle is still Russian, and Bunny is still Guatemalan. And I love that about them. We recently celebrated Bunny’s Adoption Day, the day we brought her home.  Although I punted on making tamales, I did have cake.  While we enjoyed her red velvet cake, she asked when Elle’s A-Day was.  It’s in June.  Then she asked when her daddy’s A-Day was and then when was mine. We told her we didn’t have A-Days because we weren’t adopted.  Then she questioned our citizenship.  Apparently… [more]

Heritage Hard Core

April 28th, 2011

Banh ChungWe adopted our oldest daughter when she was 14 years old. She had previously been adopted by another American family when she was 13 years old but they disrupted their adoption a year later. During that first year in America, life was very hard on her. She didn’t know any other adopted children. Her first adoptive family had very little interest in maintaining her cultural heritage. She felt isolated, frightened and alone. We had heard about her situation and began visiting her. After a few meetings with her, my husband and I brought her home to stay the weekend at our house so she could get to know our two sons. Our sons were older child adoptions as well. They immediately… [more]

Flags of Heritage

January 6th, 2011

533821_41933236When you adopt children internationally, the adoption agency always asks how you intend to keep the link between your child and their birth country. At the time, I thought that was a silly question, and I had so many other things to worry about at the time. I don't remember what I answered, but it must have been enough to appease the agency, and the foreign courts. Once we arrived home, I didn't think much about my daughters’ heritage. With Elle, if you didn't know she was adopted, you would never guess she was from Russia. With Bunny, it is a bit more obvious considering her dark skin, black eyes, and ability to swing her hips to any music… [more]

What to Keep

February 21st, 2010

978111_copy_rubber_stamp_print_isolated_on_whiteI was recently cleaning out some old and much needed to be thinned-out adoption files.  I found myself having to decide what to keep and what to through out (recycle, shred, etc.).  Old articles that I once cherished and read over and over again now seemed irrelevant, medical information on traveling to Ethiopia would never be used again, as I'm sure this information will change before our next trip to Ethiopia.  I also had information on phases that we have passed and I feel  I don't need to read about again. So what do I think you should  keep handy two years after your adoption  has been finalized?  Here are my rambling thoughts on the information I just went through two years after our… [more]

When Cultures Collide

September 7th, 2009

As a modern western woman it is easy for me to get mad at societies that do not allow women freedoms that I have enjoyed my entire life. When I read this article on the Sudanese women who went to trial for wearing pants, I was outraged. The normal punishment for "indecent" dress is whipping. The fact that she may have a fine or prison time is actually a better outcome than many have had. Issues such as this, or woman being imprisoned for being raped, showing her face or arms, Female Genital Mutilation (more to come in the future on this subject) and attending school are real issues of human rights. Most Americans would agree with me on this… [more]

“Saving” a Life: When Well-Meaning Comments Leave a Bad Taste in Your Mouth

August 12th, 2009

“Oh, so your daughter is from Guatemala? How wonderful! She is so lucky to have you. My sister’s friend’s cousin’s daughter-in-law once went there in the eighties and she said it was anarchy and poverty. You saved that little girl’s life!” Ugh. The aforementioned excerpt—with the exception of the sister’s friend’s, etc. classification—is a word for word sentence I heard from a well-meaning stranger as I was having a “mom-and-daughter lunch” with Beauty about a year ago. I say well-meaning because I do believe this is true; I do feel she was sincere in her feelings and meant no offense in her words. That said, I can’t even begin to express how deeply I disagree with her statement on all counts. Regardless of the country of your child’s… [more]

Counseling : Back to the Basic of Questions

March 12th, 2009

Last night Hubby and I went to see a Doctor that specializes in adoption issues. He came highly recommended and of course was not covered under our insurance (out of network). We decided to go ahead and self pay for a visit to meet with him. We were very pleased with our two-hour session and I feel a bit renewed. Like I had been wandering around and someone pointed me the right way to go. I thought I would share some of what we learned in my International Adoption blog, so that other families might have more information about their kiddos when bringing them home. I'm sure these questions are applicable in domestic adoption as well. We have been concentrating on… [more]

Ready for Summer? How About a Culture Camp?

March 5th, 2009

Yes, I know it is just the beginning of March. I am dreaming of warm weather and all the preparations for summer is making me impatient. If this is your first summer as a parent, you may be surprised to be reading this. The sad truth is that you have to plan your summer in late winter to get to do all the things you want to do. For example, Meg, my oldest child is going to horse camp in July. I had to have her paperwork and deposit in on February 11th. Thankfully, Meg doesn't change her mind easily. If you have a child who changes interests frequently, you could be in trouble! Mita and Enu pushed for… [more]

I Now Hate to Look at My Referral Pictures

February 17th, 2009

January 10, 2008 was the first time I saw a picture of my new daughters. I can remember Paul and I opening up the email and seeing the top of a picture at the bottom of the screen. We took a deep breath and scrolled down…They were so beautiful! We printed the pictures off and looked at them constantly. I had wallets made and 4x6’s printed for the grandparents once we accepted the referral. Dreaming of their personalities behind the smile or lack thereof. I scoured Snapfish to find pictures that others from our agency had posted. We had them up all over the house. Ten months after placement I wince when I see the pictures. Now our house… [more]

Great Geography Games for the Adoptive Family

January 25th, 2009

If you are adopting internationally you may have noticed that a lot of people out there do not know geography! I had people ask me where Ethiopia was and they were surprised it was in Africa. Many people still think that Africa is a country not a continent! As adoptive families we often find ourselves educating people on adoption facts and geography facts. We also have a responsibility to know about where our kids are from. The following games not only help us learn, but can be used to teach your children as well. The Out of the Box company has some great games to help people have fun while learning about geography. I bought the 10 Days in Africa for my family when we were… [more]